The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is expected to be commissioned in late August-early September 2017, Turkey’s Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications told Trend.
According to the ministry, this project is important not only for Turkey, but for the whole region.
“The BTK project will ensure transportation of goods from Central Asia to Europe and vice versa. This project is also important in terms of passenger transportation,” said the ministry adding that the first passenger transportation has been carried out today.
The ceremony was attended by Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC Javid Gurbanov, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications Ahmet Arslan, CEO of Georgian Railway Mamuka Bakhtadze and President of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan Railways) Kanat Alpysbaev.
The ministry said also that it is expected that cargo transportation via the BTK can be increased up to 35 million tons after 20 years of the railway’s operation. The BTK railway project will bring additional revenues to Turkey.
The BTK railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. The peak capacity of the railway will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.